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5 curious buildings in Europe

Photo by Lennart Schneider (Unsplash)

Ever passed a building while on a train and become curious about its history or origin? Many of the buildings in Europe are products of an architectural movement known as "adaptive reuse", where a building's history is preserved and the waste of demolishing and rebuilding a new one is eliminated. Most of these buildings remain unknown to travelers... until now of course. Check out our shortlist of 5 curious buildings in Europe.

Battersea power station | London, England

Since its opening, the Battersea Power Station has become a staple on London’s skyline. The power station was built in the 1920s in response to an increasing population, which meant more electricity consumption and a need for more efficient infrastructure. So in 1925, ten smaller electricity companies decided to merge and form the London Power company. 


Fast forward to the present and Battersea Power Station and its surrounding area are being brought back to life as one of the most exciting and innovative, mixed-use neighborhoods in the world. Locals, tourists, and residents come here to enjoy a unique blend of restaurants, shops, parks, and cultural spaces. Life doesn’t feel ordinary here, it feels extraordinary!


Elbphilharmonie concert hall | Hamburg, Germany

In 1875 the building was known as the Kaiserspeicher and was used as a 19,000 square metres storage facility. During WWII the building was destroyed and in 1966 Hamburg decided to blow up the ruins of the Kaiserspeicher. In its place, a new warehouse was erected which was used for storing goods such as cocoa, tea, and tobacco. 


Take a look at the building as it is today, and what you see is a magnificent complex that houses three world-class concert halls, as well as apartments, a hotel, and restaurants. As you make your way around the building, there's an amazing view at every turn, simply because this concert hall was built right in the middle of the Elbe River.


BUNK hotel | Utrecht, The Netherlands

The BUNK hotel in Utrecht is a very original accommodation: enjoy a stay between the walls of a 130-year-old church. Initiated in 2015, this project redefined the concept of hospitality, bringing forward the dramatic and glorious environments of religious spaces. The former reformed-protestant church, known locally as the Westerkerk, is located in the center of Utrecht, near the famous Hoog Catharijne mall. 


BUNK is in fact not only a hotel, but also a social space where you can come to chill, dine, work, or even attend a concert. What's more, the majestic Quellhorst-organ (which is over 200 years old!) is still fully functional and can be heard during the later hours of the night. 


The Jane | Antwerp, Belgium

This intriguing building used to be a chapel of a military hospital, which gives the restaurant that's residing here now the feeling of a sacred place, mixed with a certain darkness. Located in Antwerp’s trendy Groen Kwartier, The Jane is accompanied by lofts in other parts of the restored hospital. Some of the eye-popping aspects of The Jane are the scale of the space – its height, massive arches and large windows, the decaying ceiling, and the almost complete lack of colour. The interior reminds visitors of the building's history. 


Besides all this, The Jane strives to be sensual, exciting and chic. It has an attractive international air, but also a hint of darkness. It is tasteful and sophisticated, but also rock-‘n’-roll. The place to be for an unforgettable night out.


The tram depot | Bern, Switzerland

Located by the Aare river and nearby the bear park you'll find the Altes Tramdepot. The building is an old tramway depot that currently houses a brewery and restaurant. Many of the visitors are students, groups of friends and families, all coming to this historical place to enjoy a local craft beer or a hearty traditional meal. But they don't just come for the food - from the restauraunt you have an amazing view over the old town of Bern and the Aare river.


The restaurant works with seasonal products and also offers vegetarian options. You can enjoy summer evenings on the terrace with your friends and a nice glass of beer. Make sure to reserve a table if you plan to visit with a large group, you don't want to miss this perfect panorama of Bern.


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